Monday, June 20, 2016

Eviction 2016

Colorado giveth, and Colorado taketh away. I suppose I will start with the giving. The whole crew has been up here for two months now, and we love it. The people, the weather, the fun things to do, the job, it is all excellent. And even though living in somebody else's basement is never ideal, it has been really great living with Alixa's parents.

Lix and the kids take weekly field trips with the Melbys to nearby parks and zoos. The kids love playing on the swings. Maggie isn't as talented as the others, but she seems to enjoy it just as much.

One of the first orders of business here in Denver was to take advantage of the short distance between us and Alixa's brother Zak in Casper, Wyoming. So about a week after we got there his family came down and Abe flew out from New York. Then a few weeks after that we drove up there for a long weekend. The kids had a blast hanging out with each other. Lix and Sam took all the little ones on a hike up Casper Mountain, which was awesome. Then they had to come back down, which wasn't quite as awesome. The ground was lots of loose rock so they mostly just slid down on their butts, scraping up their hands and arms and legs in the process. But I guess that's what memories are made of, right? The kids picked dandelions and offered them for sale for the upcoming mother's day. They didn't have any customers, despite their bargain pricing of $0 per bouquet, but it was pretty cute.
When family visits Lix makes everybody exercise. She's the worst.

Stopping halfway up (or down, who knows) the sliding rock face.
Happy Mother's Day!
Looking for golf balls
Back in the shadow of the Rockies Jenna was finishing up first grade. She had a great transition and quickly made a bunch of friends, and her teacher was great, which is a sentence that I keep writing every time she gets a new teacher. She got to go on some field trips and we are confident that she is going to love being at Aspen Crossing for the next few years. Jarom even took me in to school one day for show and tell. The kids in Jenna's class thought it was pretty sweet that she has a pet python and they had lots of really good questions to ask about me. Jenna did a great job answering them and then everyone who wanted to (which was pretty much everyone) had a chance to come up and touch me.
With Ms. Workman before her play with the part of Farmer's Wife.
We had some late snowstorms that mixed not terrible temps with bundles of snow to play in. Ideal.
Definitely late to the show but we did start working on bike riding at last
Bo has been missing Mrs. B and his preschool class, so Lix has been doing some work with him on his math, writing, and reading and he is doing really well. He is looking forward to starting kindergarten in the fall. He's gotten to go out golfing with Jarom a couple of times, and one of the benefits of living on the golf course is that he can go out for 11 holes and then just get dropped off at the door while dad finishes the last 7 holes.
Jarom's caddies

Playing a little advanced peek-a-bo

Emily went with Jarom to get tested by the speech therapist and failed, which is really what everyone was hoping for. That means she gets two years of state-funded preschool, so she will also be headed to Aspen Crossing in the fall along with Bo and Jenna. She just has some issues with a handful of sounds and sometimes it is hard to figure out what she is saying. Bo can always tell what she is trying to say, but he isn't always around. We've also started to discover that unlike all her other siblings, Emmy doesn't really like the water. When we go to the pool she spends most of her time lounging nearby instead of swimming. Which is okay too, just kind of interesting.
Bath buddies
Magpie is growing up too fast. She started crawling, then started crawling super fast, then started going up stairs, and now she is about to start walking. She had the saddest event of the past few months when she got burned. Lix had just come home from the gym in early May and it was a little chilly, especially in the basement. So she turned on the gas fireplace and was going to jump into the shower. It hadn't been on for more than a few minutes when Maggie climbed up on the wall and put her hands right on the hot glass. She screamed, but didn't know enough to take her fingers off. Fortunately, Bo was close to her and thought quickly and grabbed her and pulled her off. It definitely could have been a lot worse, but it was bad. Her poor little fingertips were swollen to 2-3 times their normal size and she could touch anything without being in pain. After a week the swelling went down, but then the blisters popped and we had to watch out for infection. There aren't many things worse than having a little kid in pain, because they don't understand what is happening, you can't explain it, and they just want you to make it better but you can't. Heartbreaking stuff, but she got through it and no permanent damage. Since the event Bo has been like Maggie's personal bodyguard, keeping an especially close eye on her whenever she is around. It is actually quite adorable.
She loves messing with Jazz, which is why she was near the fireplace

She's better now
Jarom has been enjoying his work, and recently imported his former coworker at Parkland, Luis. They were good friends in Dallas and shortly after taking the job Luis asked him if there were any openings. There was, as it turns out, an opening on the team. So he got Luis to apply and Children's hired him. So now Jarom has another friend at work. This has not been ideal for his relationship with his other work friends back in Texas, who were less than thrilled to have Jarom siphoning off people.
We also took a trip to Idaho for a funeral and some rock climbing
Jenna wanted a closer look
This did not please Alixa
This is about as good as the family can look

Lix recently became certifiably insane (is that what you say when someone is an Insanity instructor?) and has big plans to start teaching classes at some local gyms. Sadly, those plans got put on hold when a few weeks ago we got an email informing us that it is not permissible to have children living in a house in the 55+ community where her parents live. So we had to make some emergency adjustments and Lix and the kids have high-tailed it out to Delaware for the next 5 weeks. They'll be back in time for school to start right before our house is finished. So we celebrated Maggie's first birthday a few days early with the Melbys at Aurora Reservoir and Mags got to smash a cake made by Abby while the other kids tried to catch a goose on the beach. For her actual birthday Maggie got to fly on a red eye flight with her mom and all her siblings. It was a mess, but not as big a mess as it could have been. There was an extra seat and the kids were good travelers, as they usually are. Now they are swimming in Grandma's pool everyday while Jarom stays here to work and enjoy the beautiful Denver sunsets.
As for the house, it is coming along nicely. It is plumbed and wired and dry walled, and now we get to start seeing really fun things like cabinets and flooring and features. It will certainly be a happy day when everyone is back in the state together and living in our own house with enough rooms for everyone. But until then we will just enjoy the summer, wherever we may find ourselves.

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